A Chosen Vessel (Acts 9:10-19)

“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:” (Acts 9:15, AV)

Years ago, I purchased a used boat. In fact, it was a 1959 mahogany cruiser. However, the vessel was in a state of disrepair. The top deck was rotted out, there were broken ribs in the hull, the motor was shot, there were holes along the keel, and the transom had pulled away from the stern of the boat. In short, the boat was a broken wreck and unusable. Well, I spent a year or so fixing all the things wrong with the boat. Then came the day to put it in the water. It had not been in the water for at least 6 years. I put it in the water and used it extensively for several years in the saltwater rivers of Savannah Georgia.

Here, we see that the Apostle Paul was one such chosen vessel. In this passage, the Lord speaks to a disciple named Ananias about a man named Saul, whom we know today as the Apostle Paul. You see, Paul was at one time a pretty crude and unusable commodity. He was a sin broken man just like all of us who believe once were. Look at the following descriptions of Paul.

Concerning the Martyrdom of Stephen: “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1, AV)

In regards to the persecution of the church: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” (Acts 8:3, AV)

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1–2, AV)

By any stretch of one’s imagination, it would seem that Saul, later called Paul, would never be fit for use by the Lord. Yet, on the Damascus Road, the Lord revealed Himself to this crude and broken vessel. The Lord, by His grace alone, saw Saul as a chosen vessel for His glory. He transformed and filled him with His Spirit making Paul a vessel that could be used powerfully for the ministry of the gospel.

Every believer in Christ is a broken vessel whom God has called and restored into a restored vessel ready to be gloriously used by the Lord. We like Paul are chosen vessels. This is a fact and as such, He has made us into instruments for His glory (Ephesians 2:8-11). We only need to count this a fact and begin living and serving according to this reality.

Perhaps you do not feel like a chosen vessel of God today. I assure you that, if Christ has saved you, you are. We cannot allow our feelings to be the validation of what Christ has done in our lives. The Word of God validates this truth. The Lord has chosen believers and recreated them into vessels designed to accomplish great things in the body of Christ. This includes you. Count it a fact, seek to identify your unique place in the body of believers and begin being the vessel that carries the truth of the gospel in this darkened world.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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